No excuses for Fly defeat

Punchestown next for dethroned champ

Last Updated: 14/03/12 1:57pm

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Hurricane Fly could only finish third

Hurricane Fly could only finish third

Sky Bet

Willie Mullins remains at a loss to explain Hurricane Fly's disappointing performance when losing his crown in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday.

The 10-time Grade One winner was considered one of the bankers of the meeting in the opening day feature, but was in trouble some way out under Ruby Walsh.

The eight-year-old deserves some credit for finishing third given he was clearly not at his best and Mullins is hoping the spark returns at the Punchestown Festival next month.

"He's fine this morning. He just didn't fire on the day for what ever reason and we just look forward to the next day with him now," said Mullins.

"He'll probably go to Punchestown."

There was some compensation for the Irish champion trainer as the incredible Quevega recorded her fourth successive victory in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

She too is likely to be Punchestown-bound.

"Quevega is a fantastic mare and was very good again yesterday. Hopefully we can keep her going for next year," Mullins added.

"She'll go to Punchestown and we'll do what we've done for the last few years and enter her in the two-mile race and the three-mile race. We'll see which way we go nearer the time."

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